How to Install Synthetic Slate Roofing

What You'll Need
Synthetic slate tiles
Utility knife
Shingle Shark
Roof brackets and boards
A sheet of underlayment
Membrane or roll roofing material
Heat gun
Chalk Line
Work Gloves
Flashing Material

Synthetic Slate roofing is the answer to those who cannot afford slate roofing. Although slate roofing is beautiful, installing it may require a specialized professional. The labor intensity and waste involved can make it a very expensive project.  As a DIY project it can be very frustrating. Fortunately, synthetic slate roofing is an affordable and easier to install alternative on the market.


 Before You Begin 

It is important to have a strong foundation on which to lay the shingles.  In other words, you should expect to replace some of the plywood, especially if the old shingles were curling, cracked or had mold lines. Carefully check for any weak or rotting boards or framework to be replaced before beginning.   

1. Install Starter Shingles

First, you need to install starter shingles. These are made by removing 6 inches from the top of the standard 12x18-inch slates. Before installing them, snap a chalk line so that they can overhang the drip edge by one inch. 

2. Join Shingles with Joints   

Place the first line of shingles with the joints overlapped halfway. 

3. Form Roof Valleys

Form roof valleys, but shingle it carefully to avoid possible leaks. You should use roll roofing material and nail the valley flashings over a layer, sealing the edges to the roof with strips of the roofing material or membrane you are using.  

4. Install the Slates

Cut and install the slates so that they fit perfectly against the rib. If you have curves, you can heat and mold the slates with a heat gun so as to form convex and concave curves where needed. 

5. Install Caps  

The caps should be installed over a ridge vent, provided that you use nails. Place the shingle in place and nail it into position.

6. Place Shingles  

If you wish to place a second course of shingles, you should put them on top of the first layer, placing the cutout edge over the center of the tab in the middle of the other shingle. 

Keep in mind that it is recommended to install shingles only over vented roofs.